Lady Archers suffer heartbreaker against undefeated NU Bulldogs to claim silver!
Published on December 7th, 2016 | by Karl Niccolo Dela Cruz
After a closely fought battle last December 3, with the Lady Archers succumbing to the DLSU Lady Bulldogs by a 74-77 win, the Taft-based squad seemed to have lost their grip during the second matchup as they failed to force a deciding third game, 72-96, December 7 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Khate Castillo proved to be the ol’ reliable for the Lady Archers after topping the scoreboard for DLSU with 15 points and even being the league’s top three-pointer of the season. Breakout star Johanna Arciga provided ample assistance for Castillo and the rest of the Lady Archers as she scored 14 markers to get the team going especially in the second quarter. The graduating Snow Penaranda maintained her stellar performance under the basket until the end with 13 markers, 11 rebounds, and 3 assists.
The Lady Archers erupted on a 13-3 run to start the fourth quarter. Castillo and Claro shot back-to-back threes to bring the lead down and the rest soon followed for DLSU. The Lady Archers were able to outwit the Bulldogs to bring down the lead 68-92. Defense then locked down hard on the Lady Archers and possession soon favored the Lady Bulldogs. The Lady Archers’ offensive output was not able to fully catch up to the ballooned lead established by the defending champions.
At the third quarter, Benette Revillosa was pulled out from the court after suffering a knee injury, forcing the Taft-based squad to change their game play at 38-54. Also, graduating Paulina Vela went in action after a long break in the bench, replacing Charlene Javier. The NU Girls soon drove shots from the rainbow county, one after the other, widening the gap with total of 30 points at the end, 47 – 78.
In the first and second quarter, the Lady Bulldogs stayed on top, although the Green-and-White squad tried to chase the lead, they were outsmarted with several three pointers from NU, MVP Afril Bernardino and Finals MVP Gemma Miranda, 15-26 and 38-52, respectively.
Team captain Kathy Gonzales admitted that the team lacked big men to match the Lady Bulldogs’ plethora of national team players. “Siguro nagkulang kami sa tao parang ang daming nag-foul trouble eh malalaki sila tapos yung big guys pa yung nag-foul trouble sa amin. Hindi kami nakapag-box out at hindi kami nakalayo kaya dun kami natambakan,” said Gonzales.
Looking forward, Gonzales puts her trust and faith in the Lady Archers as they battle anew in the next season. “Galingan nila sa iba pang season. Mag-strive sila harder pa para makamit nila yung goal nila. [I hope they] make us proud next season,” added the graduating Gonzales. The veteran baller also took the opportunity to thank all the Lasallian fans and supporters of the Lady Archers. “Continue supporting the Lady Archers for the next seasons,” asked Gonzales.
With the loss, the Lady Archers settle for second, a step higher than their third place finish last year. Meanwhile, the Lady Bulldogs end the season with a perfect record of 16-0, continuing their streak of 48 wins since season 77.